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Friday, 2 February 2024 - 1.00pm
Location: 
Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Berkowitz/Finley Lecture Hall

This lecture is a hybrid event. There is a sandwich lunch at 12.30 pm in the Old Library at the Centre. All lecture attendees welcome.

Register here if attending online 

Lecture summary: This research examines international law’s longstanding entanglement with communications infrastructure. There is increasing concern regarding the rise of private global power in the form of global digital platforms and their model of information capitalism. This paper responds by focusing on historical connections between international law and infrastructure as a means of examining their relationship in the global communications context. This reveals a longer trajectory to current interest in information capitalism’s effects on international life.

Current concerns focus on the power of private digital platforms and the networked communicative infrastructure they maintain for the global economy. Introducing an historical perspective to such debates highlights infrastructure’s ongoing connections to violence and exploitation. This points to the wider and constitutive role of infrastructure in international life and underscores the need to address the blending of public and private forms of power in global governance.

While the technologies driving change and re-appraisal within the contemporary international legal imagination are clearly distinct, viewing infrastructure as regulation in the current day requires us to confront continuing patterns of inequality and discrimination, which in turn can be connected with a longer international legal history. Such a focus can also help to explain how the traditional form of international law as a limited system of positive rules and of managerial ordering came to dominate the legal imagination and entrench a state-centrism which now appears anachronistic in light of the reality of private power and its concentration on the international plane.

Dr Daniel Joyce is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW Sydney. He specialises in international law, media law and human rights. Daniel is an Affiliated Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute at the University of Helsinki, an Associate of the Australian Human Rights Institute and a member of the Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation. His monograph Informed Publics, Media and International Law was published by Hart in 2020. He is a visiting fellow at LSE Law School from September 2023 until March 2024.

Chair: Dr Tor Krever

The Friday Lunchtime Lecture series is kindly supported by Cambridge University Press & Assessment.

 

A recording of this lecture is available on the University's Streaming Media Service

 

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law

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